CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Newbury College freshman Savannah Olsen (Battle Creek, Mich.) posted a double-double with a game-high 30 points and 13 rebounds to lead the visiting Nighthawks past Lesley University 63-52 tonight in New England Collegiate Conference play at the Nicholas Athletics Center.
The Nighthawks, who earned a season-series sweep of the Lynx with the win, improve to 6-14 overall and 5-8 in NECC action while the Lynx drop to 1-17 on the season and 0-12 in the conference standings.
Olsen's 30-point outburst was a career-high for the rookie while she also added a pair of assists, a block, and a steal to her line on the night. Sophomore Destiny Spears (Arnold, Md.) followed Olsen with a double-double of her own with 13 points and 13 boards. Senior Katelyn Roeser (Nashua, N.H.) led all players with nine assists, one shy of her career-high, to go with four points and six rebounds while classmate Jovanna Sandifer (Boston, Mass.) added eight points.
Lesley sophomore Theresa Pereira (Hopedale, Mass.) went a perfect 11-of-11 from the free throw line on her way to a team-high 24 points while senior Anthea Rathjens (Sudbury, Mass.) added six points and a game-best 15 boards. Tonight marked the second straight game Rathjens finished with 15 boards and her seventh game with double-digit caroms on the season. Sophomore Courtney Goggin (Cheshire, Conn.) finished with ten points off the bench for the hosts and senior Ari Dimou (Manchester, N.H.) poured in six points, five rebounds, and a team-high five assists.
The Lynx started off hot, connecting on four of their first five shots to stake an 8-4 lead in the opening four minutes of play. The Nighthawks would punch back with a 14-4 run to claim an 18-12 advantage before a Goggin triple cut the deficit to three with 43-seconds to go in the opening quarter. Olsen was huge for the guests during the spurt, accounting for eight of the 14 points.
An Emily Meade (Derry, N.H.) post-move layup would bring the Lynx to within two, 22-20, with 6:35 left in the second quarter, but the Newbury defense held the Lynx scoreless for the remainder of the period and scored 11 unanswered points to build a 13-point edge heading into halftime.
The momentum continued for the Nighthawks in the early-goings of the third as a Tylar Barbato (Hillsdale, N.Y.) three sparked a 9-4 run over the first 2:40 of play to give the guests their biggest lead of the night, 42-24.
Lesley would quickly cut that lead in half, as Goggin and Pereira scored nine straight for the hosts over the next 2:12. The Lynx continued to chip away as a Dimou jumper brought Lesley to within seven, 46-39, at the 2:43 mark of the quarter, but Newbury would go on to score the final seven points of the quarter to inch the lead back to double-digits.
Trailing 53-39 at the end of the third quarter, a Pereira jumper ignited an 8-4 spurt capped by a pair of Dimou free throws to cut the deficit to ten, 57-47, with just under three minutes to play in the fourth. Four straight free throws by the Nighthawks would extend their advantage back to 14 before Pereira scored five straight to dwindle the lead to single digits in the final minute of play, but the push was too little, too late as the Nighthawks hung on to snap a two-game losing skid.
Newbury knocked down 36% (26-of-71) of their shot attempts on the game while holding Lesley to a 29% (18-of-61) clip on the night. The Nighthawks separated themselves with their play underneath the basket as they outrebounded the Lynx by a 58-37 margin and outscored the hosts 40-18 in the painted area.
Lesley will be back in NECC play on Thursday when they host Wheelock College at 8:00p while Newbury returns to conference action on Saturday when they travel to Regis College for a 3:00p tip-off.